SS soldiers take Polish Jews from Warsaw Ghetto to the death camps

“Advocates who cite Hitler in the current U.S. debate overlook that Jews in 1930s Germany were a very small population, owned few guns before the Nazis took control, and lived under a dictatorship commanding overwhelming public support and military might, historians say. While it doesn’t fit neatly into the modern-day gun debate, they say, the truth is that for all Hitler’s unquestionably evil acts, his firearms laws likely made no difference in Jews’ very tenuous odds of survival.” – Hitler Joins Gun Control Debate, But History Is In Dispute, huffingtonpost.com

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69 Responses to Quote of the Day: Godwin’s Law Edition

  1. When the Nazi’s came to power, Germans was not yet ready to slaughter their Jewish neighbors. While Nazi propaganda was making its way into German society, many Jews left Germany and many Jews stayed in Germany and decided to ride out the storm. Had the Jews who decided to stay been allowed to buy guns, more Jews would have owned guns by the time the Germans were ready for their final solution.

    • This is distraction tactic. We have hit a nerve! Who on earth would defend Hitler and his methods? Ironically they are proving a point though, had the population been armed history would be different, and they weren’t armed because the military government wouldn’t allow it. They have described the effects of control!

    • Modern politics aside, I don’t think it would have made a difference either. What is never considered by people who want to use Hitler in a 21st century American context is that the Nazis actually made it possible for German companies to start making large amounts of guns again. This is because, of course, the Nazis wanted to flip the bird at the 1919 Treaty of Versailles that placed strict arms production controls on the Germans. The Treaty’s controls also affected the German civilian market’s production as well. The Nazis also took away a lot of the Weimar Republic’s gun control measures, put in place in an (unsuccessful) attempt to combat open violence by right-wing and leftist militias in the 1920’s.

  2. Germany’s first gun control laws were “common sense” where trustworthy individuals could own guns. When people who hate you make that decision it never ends well for your side.

    Lets also not forget the Nazi’s used gun registries in countries they invaded to easily disarm the civilians. In Belgium, they would kill children in front of their parents until they turned their guns in.

    Registration leads to confiscation which leads to genocide. It almost always ends up that way.

    • Even if it didn’t lead to genocide, it would lead to the further rise of petty tyrants. It would allow them to act without fear to make our lives miserable. When we don’t comply with their illegal requests, they can always use the threat of overwhelming force when the people they are bothering know laws and can rebuff their idiocy. Think of the family in NJ that had the DYS or whatever it’s called roll up on the family with the police in order to attempt to get her way in harassing them. All for a picture of their son holding an AR.

    • BS – You must be thinking of the Bolshevik revolution.
      Why doesn’t anyone ever talk about what happened to christian russians after THEIR gns were taken away?

      My guess is that you can’t count that high.

  3. So what they are saying is the Nazis made laws that banned one ‘scary’ group from owning guns but exempted other palatable groups who had politically correct opinions. Is it just me or is the appeal to ban scary assault weapons but leave fudd hunting rifles the same sort of twisted logic?

    That said leave it to the Huffington Post crowd to defend Hitler, compare gun ownership to nazism and to say the Jews couldn’t have done anything to change their fate. I guess that is why Israel with all their weapons gets overrun all the time….

    • They’re not defending Hitler, and not comparing gun-owners to NAZIs.

      They mention that 2A advocates cite Hitler, which we do – as a negative example.

      They assert that a small minority, however armed, would likely have been largely ineffectual as a resistance. That’s open to counterargument.

      It’s not the same thing. They are mostly wrong, but it’s not the same thing.

      • Yeah, it’s a great relief to know they wouldn’t have won anyway if armed, isn’t it? The ones who walked in line had it right all along!

    • The Nazis actually lessened the restrictions on gun ownership from the previous Wiemar era laws. And the only reason Israel isnt over run is because of external support it received initially from the USSR and later America.

      • matt, in 1973 syria sent more than 1500 tanks across the Golan hieghts against the IDF at the same time that Egypt breached the Bar-Lev line after crossing the Suez in what was a brilliant plan that failed for many of the same reasons the Syrian attack failed in spite of overwhelming numbers.

        The Arab armies were using mostly Soviet equipment that was designed for Soviet style of warfare. The Arab world doesn’t have the resources to fight a Soviet style war. They cannot accept the casualties and losses of equipment that the soviets can.

        The IDF uses western style gear and tactics. Quality over quantity. The Arab forces will always lose so long as they field outmoded Soviet era tanks and tactics.

        Yes, we give a lot of aid to the Isrealis. But we also give a lot to the Arab countries. Or we did. During the 73 war I know we sent gear and supplies to the IDF but we also sent fighter aircraft to Saudi Arabia at the same time. I saw both events and I know the fighters were brand new and still in the factory crates.

        As for your silly admiration and defense of Nazi Germany, What else needs to be said?

        • I don’t see any “silly admiration and defense” of the Nazis there. He stated facts ( I assume that they’re true, if not he still isn’t posting silly admiration and defense, then he’s lying).

  4. This simply proves that the opposition is willing to lie through it’s teeth to get what it wants – civilian disarmament and repeal of the Second Amendment.

  5. Registration leads to confiscation, but confiscation does not always follow with genocide. Only when there is hate institutionalized in the highest levels of government, like Germany or the Ottoman or the most extreme cases of tyranny like Mao or Stalin does it carry on to genocide.

    Examples:
    Canada- had a registry, it was abused to confiscate firearms whenever a new law banned more. No genocide.

    Australia- Also had a registry after Port Author. Each time more and more restrictions were placed after their initial ban and “buy-back”, it was used to confiscate (though they didn’t call it confiscation because they paid for the guns they took in cases where no laws were broken, it was still confiscation).

    There are many other cases (especially in Europe) where no genocide took place after registration and the confiscations that took place afterward. There must also be racial hate within the administration before there is genocide.

    Of course confiscation does embolden criminals and lead to higher rates of property crime, rape, and assault, but that’s another thing.

    • Just because a pile of kindling doesn’t spontaneously catch fire doesn’t mean that allowing it to pile up isn’t a potential hazard.

    • > Just because a pile of kindling doesn’t spontaneously
      > catch fire doesn’t mean that allowing it to pile up isn’t
      > a potential hazard.

      That sounds like “gun control” logic:

      Just because everybody with a gun hasn’t gone on a killing spree yet doesn’t mean that they’re not a potential hazard.

      • Maybe you’re just pointing that out, but in case you’re counter-arguing, it’s not necessarily detrimental to an argument if an analogy used in that argument can fit multiple situations. Another way to say it is that while it’s common to use an analogy to make a point, but the fact that you can come up with an analogy to fit your argument doesn’t itself validate your argument.

    • , Australia. No genocides? I suppose if you were a descendent of the white settlers in that country you would see it that way. As for Canada and Europe, just because a genocide hasn’t happened, and since Germany is a part of europe which sort of knocks this theory down, doesn’t mean that it won’t happen in the future.

      For now these countries are stable, but what about the future?

  6. The ultimate comment by Alex Kozinski, Chief Justice of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals,
    from his dissent in Silveira v. Lockyer:

    All too many of the other great tragedies of history — Stalin’s atrocities, the killing fields of Cambodia, the Holocaust, to name but a few — were perpetrated by armed troops against unarmed populations. 570*570 Many could well have been avoided or mitigated, had the perpetrators known their intended victims were equipped with a rifle and twenty bullets apiece, as the Militia Act required here. See Kleinfeld Dissent at 578-579. If a few hundred Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto could hold off the Wehrmacht for almost a month with only a handful of weapons, six million Jews armed with rifles could not so easily have been herded into cattle cars.

    My excellent colleagues have forgotten these bitter lessons of history. The prospect of tyranny may not grab the headlines the way vivid stories of gun crime routinely do. But few saw the Third Reich coming until it was too late. The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed — where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.

    But Judge Kozinski doesn’t count. All he is is brilliant, educated, historically knowledgeable, and personally experienced with the ways of totalitarian regimes. That cannot possibly compare with the intellectual giants of the Huffington Post or the philosophical cogitations of highly educated comedians. Can it?

    • Minor quibble: its chief judge. Not justice. Justices are on the Supreme Court. My wife (a law clerk for a circuit judge) constantly corrects this in news stories we read together. Otherwise excellent writing from the ninth….

    • Thank you. Best reply yet.

      Once the AP was known for reporting news, objective news to be sold on the wire. Now like its competitor in the wire business, the NYT, it seems to be competing for editorial flavor, and slant on the news.

      So its only natural to be suspicious, however “reasonable” and erudite this article comes across as, especially when its re-posted by HuffPo (spit.spit).

      Adam Geller misses the point, that belies the “Big Story” title for this articles placement at AP.

      Remember! Never Again! http://www.ushmm.org/

  7. “Advocates who cite Hitler in the current U.S. debate overlook that Jews in 1930s Germany were a very small population, owned few guns before the Nazis took control,”

    “You just shot an unarmed man!”

    “Well he should have armed himself…”

  8. Time and again we hear cries in favor of stricter gun control: “We must do something!”, “If it saves just one life…”, “It might have made a difference.” Well you know what? If a few hundred of the few thousand Jews in every city in Hitler’s Germany had been able to keep and bear arms it might have made a difference. It might have saved one life. It might have saved thousands. Let’s do something. Let’s recognize that every single person on the planet has the right to protect life from those who would take it by ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

  9. I guess the author also overlooks what groups like the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto who held off the Nazis for a month and the Bielski partisans who fought for the duration of the war. The author also overlooks uprising like the one at Treblinka where the inmate managed to steal weapons and revolt.

    Now the natural response from the author will be look how badly Warsaw, Treblinka and so many other Jewish uprisings failed. This of course over looks how much they accomplished with a minimum of stolen weapons and begs the questions how much more could they have done if they were armed better, even marginally better, from the beginning?

  10. Leave it to the HufPo to completely miss the point. Of course the Jews were an outnumbered minority! That’s why we have the 2A; to protect the weak, the minorities, the powerless, the disabled, the elderly, the less-physically-dominant, the people that have been picked on. That’s who it’s for. A small population of Jews can’t fight back against an armed majority, and it made them slaves. If they were armed, they would have had the choice to fight back. As it is, they had no choice, and they died in part because of “common sense”. Never again.

    • Well put. And leave it to the HuffPo not to know any history. Numerical superiority has never been a good predictor of who will win in a fight. Victory often goes to the party with the stronger will. Sometimes just the credible threat of resistance is enough to deter an oppressor who imagined the conquest would be easy.

      Furthermore, Jews in Germany were leaders in nearly every part of respectable society – the academy, industry, the music world, and so on – somewhat like the Koreans in America today. Many Jews therefore had considerably more influence than, say, the gypsies, who were also targeted by Hitler, and a decision by any prominent Jew to fight rather than flee or submit would have received considerably more attention (and perhaps encouraged others – non-Jews – to resist as well).

      For a glimpse of what I mean, imagine the political ramifications in today’s debate if fifty executives of Fortune 500 companies, fifty chairs of departments at top-rated universities, and fifty of the most famous writers and music stars announced today that they planned to buy and carry guns as a daily practice and use those guns to defend their families and themselves against any attack.

      This is an inexact analogy, of course, and the Nazis might well have reacted very aggressively, but they would have taken losses, and they would have had to recalculate the costs and benefits of further action against the Jews. And even if the Nazis still triumphed, they would have triumphed more slowly, giving other countries longer to arm themselves (Britain and France were both well behind Germany in armaments and troops by the late 30’s) and muster the will to oppose German expansion. Finally, the Jews who died would have died as free men fighting tyranny rather than as helpless victims in the camps. This alone would have made resistance worthwhile.

    • Motherlova writes:

      Well put. And leave it to the HuffPo not to know any history. Numerical superiority has never been a good predictor of who will win in a fight. Victory often goes to the party with the stronger will. Sometimes just the credible threat of resistance is enough to deter an oppressor who imagined the conquest would be easy.

      Furthermore, Jews in Germany were leaders in nearly every part of respectable society – the academy, industry, the music world, and so on – somewhat like the Koreans in America today. Many Jews therefore had considerably more influence than, say, the gypsies, who were also targeted by Hitler, and a decision by any prominent Jew to fight rather than flee or submit would have received considerably more attention (and perhaps encouraged others – non-Jews – to resist as well).

      For a glimpse of what I mean, imagine the political ramifications in today’s debate if fifty executives of Fortune 500 companies, fifty chairs of departments at top-rated universities, and fifty of the most famous writers and music stars announced today that they planned to buy and carry guns as a daily practice and use those guns to defend their families and themselves against any attack.

      This is an inexact analogy, of course, and the Nazis might well have reacted very aggressively, but they would have taken losses, and they would have had to recalculate the costs and benefits of further action against the Jews. And even if the Nazis still triumphed, they would have triumphed more slowly, giving other countries longer to arm themselves (Britain and France were both well behind Germany in armaments and troops by the late 30’s) and muster the will to oppose German expansion. Finally, the Jews who died would have died as free men fighting tyranny rather than as helpless victims in the camps. This alone would have made resistance worthwhile.

    • Yes, well said – and leave it to the HuffPo not to know any history. Numerical superiority has never been a good predictor of who will win in a fight. Victory often goes to the party with the stronger will. Sometimes just the credible threat of resistance is enough to deter an oppressor who imagined the conquest would be easy.

      Furthermore, Jews in Germany were leaders in nearly every part of respectable society – the academy, industry, the music world, and so on – somewhat like the Koreans in America today. Many Jews therefore had considerably more influence than, say, the gypsies, who were also targeted by Hitler, and a decision by any prominent Jew to fight rather than flee or submit would have received considerably more attention (and perhaps encouraged others – non-Jews – to resist as well).

      For a glimpse of what I mean, imagine the political ramifications in today’s debate if fifty executives of Fortune 500 companies, fifty chairs of departments at top-rated universities, and fifty of the most famous writers and music stars announced today that they planned to buy and carry guns as a daily practice and use those guns to defend their families and themselves against any attack.

      This is an inexact analogy, of course, and the Nazis might well have reacted very aggressively, but they would have taken losses, and they would have had to recalculate the costs and benefits of further action against the Jews. And even if the Nazis still triumphed, they would have triumphed more slowly, giving other countries longer to arm themselves (Britain and France were both well behind Germany in armaments and troops by the late 30’s) and muster the will to oppose German expansion. Finally, the Jews who died would have died as free men fighting tyranny rather than as helpless victims in the camps. This alone would have made resistance worthwhile.

  11. I’ll say this until I am blue in the face. German Jews had, obviously, alot to fear in Hitler, but so did the jews in Holland, Poland, Greece, France, Russia, Yugoslavia, Romania, Hungary, Bohemia, the Baltics, Slovakia, Norway, Estonia, and Italy. And so did non-Jews in German and all those places too. Confining the historical analysis to jews and Germany is simply wrong. Citizens have THEIR OWN government to fear AS WELL AS external governments.

  12. I rarely say anything is Anti-Semitic because I feel it is often an oversued phrase to quell debate and conversation…however, when I read this astounding piece yesterday, I was floored by the overflowing Anti-Semitism.

    To sum it up, it basically says, “Yeah Hitler banned and confiscated guns from a group of people (Jews), but so what! The Jews were such a small minority it’s really just an historical oversight he confiscated guns from them because he gave more guns to the people that supported him and that also hated this small group of people.”

    “Also, it wouldn’t mattered it the Jews had more guns to defend themselves, because they were slaughtered anyway. They should have just given all their guns to the Nazis without incident and walked into the Concentration Camps with dignity.”

    WOW! You can’t make this stuff up!!!

  13. First off, BULLSHIT!! My two next door neighbors had tatues on there wrist since they were 6 and 8 years of age. They were near 100 years old back in the 1980s. John, my neighbor, was in a death camp with his whole family till he was 11. He was the only survivor out of 14 people. He told me stories of how it started, and guess what, Hitler did have raids in the begining to seize arms from the Jews he said. The reason they gave was to secure the fatherland against potentuel uprisings, and to make everyone SAFE! Later that year they starting taking intire families away to the train yards. And this, not from some propaganda history book, this from two people that LIVED THE EXPERIENCE! So to all you anti gunners, maybe you should talk to some Jewish people that had family go threw that horrible experience and here how the SS in the begining starting taking Jews rights away. AND YES FIREARMS WHERE THE FIRST THING TO GO!! The their belongings and money, and jewls. Remind you of anything AMERICA??

  14. The Holocaust, the killing fields, Rwanda, Bosnia, Armenia etc………..

    The American Indian Wars, The Indian Removal Act, Greenwood Massacre, etc………………

    Pointing to other lands reinforces the “can’t happen here” mantra. Believing that is much more dangerous than any gun.

    • The Indian wars (American, that is) were here. Care to string up anyone selling guns to injuns, anyone?

      I’m of Russian-Jewish, Welsh and Lakota descent. It’s ALL family history.

      No eff’ing way. Not on my watch.

  15. Your math is broken, David. If your neighbors had been children during WWII, no way would they have been “near 100 years old” in the 1980s…

    • In grade school (in the early ’70s) a kid claimed that his father had died at Pearl Harbor. I had to point out the fallacy, even though he was a lot bigger than me.

      They weren’t freezing pople-pollen back then, y’know…

    • Hitler probably reasoned it out thinking that a glass of water is sufficient for putting out a lit match, so why not instead keep a 50-gallon drum of water on hand? It just makes putting that lit match out so much easier and quicker.

      Yes, there were a small minority of Jews in Germany. But they had guns. That wouldn’t do. A wasp is tiny compared to us, but it has one stinger that can inflict great harm (and in allergy cases, even death). Hitler knew he had to take the stingers away from the Jews.

      • First of all matt, wiki isn’t an accurate source to be quoting. And the casualty figures in that wiki article are from Nazi sources. I don’t think we should take them as gospel.

      • Among other accomplishments of the Warsaw Uprising, they caused a significant number of German soldiers to stop doing other things and deal with the uprising. Or do you know so little of miitary history that you can’t figure out that fighting and losing can help the overall war effort? Next assignment: read about how Serbia’s last-minute defiance of Hitler distracted and delayed the Germans from other key operations.

        As for your callous joke, you’re an idiot.

      • Ah, here’s the silly defense stuff. Who cares what the numbers were? 13 or 13,000, what’s the difference? I’d rather die fighting than die as a helpless victim.

        • jason21m, meet matt. He has proudly admitted to being a racist amongst other things. He claims he’s an anarchist who doesn’t vote which makes him pretty useless in the 2a support category.

  16. So because those strict laws ‘likely made no difference’, we’d better enact some of our own, just for fun. Why would anyone want to fight against military might and popular opinion anyway? That would be, like, hard and stuff. I think this author is confused, the Jews got steamrolled by the brainwashed masses, and had they been armed, things may have gone in a different direction. Probably not, but at least they would been better-equipped to fight, and that’s all we ask for. To be allowed to fight against evil, in any of its many forms, be it a home invader or an overreaching government. We pray that these thing never happen, and all we want is to DEFEND what we love. Not give it up because someone says we should, or attack anyone. That last part is lost on most people. Our creed is one of protecting our own, not harming others. We don’t seek out conflict, contrary to popular belief. It was a tragedy that the Jews (and innumerable others throughout history) were unable to adequately defend themselves, and we will not fall victim to the same ploy. We will stubbornly remember our history, and refuse to be herded like cattle towards the slaughter. That is our choice, and our choice alone, to make. If you don’t like it, tough. Practice a little Mind Your Own God Damn Business (MYOGDB), I promise I’ll do the same.

    • The problem we have discussing this issue with the anti-gun types is that they are willing to sacrifice their basic human dignity – becoming slaves – in exchange for the empty promise of a few more days of life. I agree with Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata – “It is better to die on my feet than to continue living on my knees.” If you surrender your basic dignity as a human being, you are nothing – and may expect to be treated accordingly.

  17. Maybe guns in Jewish hands would not have made much difference overall, but I know that guns in my grandparent’s hands made all the difference when Hitler’s ally Ustaše attempted their version of holocaust, but were thwarted by massive armed resistance.

    I don’t know if 100% true, but family tradition says that our 12-house village fielded 16 partisans and was left alone (for fear of retributions), while more “obedient” villages were burned to the ground and people sent to Jasenovac death camp.

  18. While it is indeed true that the relatively few Jews who would have still had guns were the controls not enacted would likely have made little difference, methinks a fully armed German populace might have behaved a little differently.

    There was a very dedicated, quite effective German resistance, and not everyone else was jake with what was happening. Things might’ve been very different.

  19. I’d like to see the liberal media ask Holocaust survivors if guns really don’t make a difference. Better yet, I’d like to see them ask the descendents of said Holocaust survivors that question.

    • Do descendants of pogrom survivors count? I’m one, and I say yes, an armed populace is a Good Thing.

    • From the HuffPo article:
      “Objectively, it might have made things worse” if the Jews who fought the Nazis in the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising in Poland had more and better guns, said historian Steve Paulsson, an expert on the period whose Jewish family survived the city’s destruction.

      • If I were a Jew in Warsaw at the time, I’d love to have the chance to “make it worse”. What’s worse than millions and millions of murders?

  20. Regarding the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising:

    Those Jews who died with a gun in their hands, and especially those with an empty magazine in their guns in the Warsaw Ghetto died with more dignity and honor than the 6 million men women and children who walked willingly to their demise in the gas chambers.

    You, me, everyone you’ve ever known or will know, we’re all going to die one day. Deal with that fact.

    You can either go out like a li’l bitch, or check out this world with a modicum of dignity. It’s your choice.

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